In our mind, HyperCard was the Macintosh. More because of the philosophy behind it than because of its utility. It was included for free with every Mac. It built a strong user community (one that refused to die). It presented an unusual and innovative way of thinking about applications — "cards?" "stacks?" — that turned out to be completely extensible and flexible. It pulled together the content of other Mac apps like MacWrite and MacWord to create something interactive, back when "multimedia" still hadn't taken off as a buzzword. And above all, it just worked, intuitively.

Apple's new iLife'06 component iWeb is not HyperCard. It doesn't try to be. For starters, it's more limited in scope — while HyperCard remains difficult to define in 10 words or less (a database? programming language? multimedia toolkit?), iWeb has a clear purpose: to make personal websites. Still, we've been trying out iWeb over the past couple of days, and we can't shake the feeling of deja vu.

More "We Love the 80s" style reminiscing about software, and a very long review, after the jump